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Sounds familiar, probably because most of us use pretty much the same formula for our outbound email marketing when working on our subject lines. Honestly I have not been looking at blog post headlines in the same way but it does make a lot of sense and seems very obvious once you see the idea. Another one of those "I should have thought it myself a long time ago" ideas.
I believe that the Data Surplus issue is something that is usually overlooked. Most people are drowning in data today and are only able to use a small percentage of what they currently have available to them and this problem is just going to get worse in the future. While there are some decent applications to help you manage your different incoming data streams none of them really do the job all that well.
While it was an attempt at a pretty large power grab I honestly do not see why anyone is seriously surprised. Facebook has about the worst record in the world when it comes to privacy issues yet the site just keeps growing which really tells Facebook management that while some people make a lot of noise on the subject most people do not care enough to leave the site no matter what they do. While there was a lot of noise and condemnation about the new Instagram policies, what percentage of people would have actually closed their account? My guess is that the percentage would have been fairly small. I have no doubt that this was a trial balloon to see what caused the most push back and that going forward they will make small incremental changes that end up giving them most of what they "really" wanted but just over the course of a few years.
As noted you are going to need to link to your blog or website where you are placing your content from your Google Plus account and use the rel=author tag. The did a video on it back in Aug which you can see at the youtube link below the explains it fairly well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgFb6Y-UJUI
Lets face it the real truth in the statement is that the organics have so crazy lately that it is hard to depend on them. What "forget about SEO" really means is "We can not count on stable organic rankings any longer so build links to get direct traffic and hope that you end up ranking in Google as well". Which no matter what the circumstances are is good advice, putting all your eggs in one traffic basket is never a good idea. The problem is that a lot of "internet marketers" became "Google marketers" and completely ignored all the other ways to drive traffic to their sites.